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Genre: Drama/Crime
Starring: Francis Ng, Leon Dai, Terri Kwan, Janet Lee
Director: Chien Ren-Hao
Rating: M18 (Some Gore And Sexual Scenes)
Year Made: 2008






Languages: Mandarin
Subtitles: English/Chinese
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Letterbox
Sound: Dolby Digital 2.0
Running Time: 1 hr 34 mins
Region Code: 3
Distributor: InnoF
orm Media




Wei is the 'Button man', an expert cleaner for the gang, a man who comes after a murder scene, takes care of the victim, disposing the body and leaving no evidence behind.

Wei's partner and friend "Doc" who has been selling the organs of the deceased has caused troubles for the gang and therefore was taken out. Deepply depressed after finishing the button job on his good friend, Wei wants out. Little did he know that his apprentice "Kid" is having an affair with his woman; even worse, the kids first job on his own would be to button Wei.

Yet in real life, Wei leads another identity secret to everyone. Caught between reality and the crushing impact of a double life. Wei's true nature is slowly exposed...


We already know award winning actor Francis Ng (Turning Point, Exiled) can act. He can effortlessly slip into any role he is given and portray a character so convincingly, you’d feel that Ng the actor has already been in character for the past decade. So if a film he stars in isn’t well received, we would probably not fault him for spoiling the soup. Case in point? This Chien Ren Hao directed movie which has an interesting premise but fails by quite a fair bit when it comes to execution.

Chien writes his own screenplay for this picture about a “cleaner” who cleans up the crime scene so that the murderers will be able to escape unnoticed and continue their unlawful acts. As you’d expect, this character played by Ng is a emotionally tormented one, with a soul that is so scarred, you can only wish that he gets out of his own mess soon. What else would you expect from someone with an occupation like this? We truly feel for him, we truly do.

The digestible runtime of 79 minutes is a welcoming element as we are gradually becoming strong believers of the term “short and sweet”. However, the 79 minutes we had to sit through seem to be rather painful, mainly because the movie does not seem to have a strong direction of sorts.

Sure, the brutality of the killings are gory enough (hence the M18 rating from our friends at the censorship board), the cinematography is edgy enough (considering the rather low budget of the production) and the performances are engaging enough (you’d recognize quite a few familiar Taiwanese stars from TV dramas), but you also get the feeling that the lack of substance in storytelling is made up for with flashy antics. It tries to please viewers with “been there done that” voiceovers, creating a pseudo art house ambience that may actually work against the movie.   

So what we have left is Ng and his portrayal of the man plagued with all sorts of problems. He has an apprentice who may not be the most trustworthy person to hand over the job to. He has a love interest who is as troubled as he is. He has a lot of blood to clear at crime scenes. If we were him, we’d look distressed too. This is complemented by his fellow Taiwanese cast (you can almost note the different styles of acting between the two camps), which includes Leon Dai (Silk, Double Vision) and Terri Kwan (My DNA Says I Love You, Shamo).

All in all, the movie presents the seedy world that we as comfortable beings may never get to see. But everything’s presented in a wannabe veil that you can’t help but feel distanced from the tale of pain and sorrow.




The movie’s visual transfer is more pristine than we expected, and is presented in Mandarin.




Review by John Li

Posted on 21 December 2009


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This review is made possible with the kind support from InnoForm Media


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